Determine if your complaint is about advertising or promotion
It is useful to know if your concerns relate to an advertisement for alcohol or the promotion of alcohol within broadcasted TV and radio programmes.
Click on the flowchart below to help you work out the best process.
Making a complaint to the relevant Broadcaster
If you feel that a TV or Radio programme has breached the relevant BSA Code, you must FIRST make a formal complaint in writing to the Broadcasters within 20 working days after the programme was aired.
Determine if your complaint relates to the:
- Free-to-Air Television Code, please click here
- Pay Television Code, please click here
- Radio Code, please click here
You can find the list of Broadcasters here.
The BSA provides very clear and informative guidance on how to make a complaint to them. For more details about the complaint process, please click here.
Although Standard 7 directly applies to alcohol promotion there may be other standards in the Codes which are also worth considering in your complaint.
Use the helpful checklist below to help with your complaint. There are different checklists for Free-to-air TV, Pay TV and Radio.
Write your compaint. Use the letter template below to help you. Also provided is a weblink to assist you in finding the right Broadcaster to send your complaint to.
When writing the formal letter, it is important for you to mark ATTENTION – FORMAL COMPLAINTS DEPARTMENT
Allow enough time for your complaint to reach its destination within the 20-working day deadline if you are posting it.
The Broadcaster will make a decision on your complaint
Once the broadcaster has received your formal complaint, they must make a decision within 20 working days (or 40 working days if extension is required).
If you are not happy with the Broadcaster's decision
If you are not satisfied with the decision, you can then refer your formal complaint to the BSA within 20 working days of the broadcaster’s decision (or within 60 working days of the broadcast if you have not received a decision).
The BSA will then decide if the programme breached the standards. A written decision will be sent to you and if you are not happy with the BSA decision, you may appeal the BSA decision to the High Court within one month after you were notified of the decision. All decisions are posted online.